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MG MGA - Air filters

I am thinking of fitting K&N air filters to my MkII 1600 as my existing filters are nothing more than a thin ring of sponge foam. Can anyone vouch for these and more importantly does anyone know exactly which is the right model out of the many variables? Does it matter that there will be no connection for the breather from the rocker box?
J Houlgate

Barney has chapter and verse on this-I followed the info for my car and it worked well, the car's breathing improved greatly.
J H Cole

I fitted the filter element into the MGA housing, a little tight and a slight snip required around the breather but quite easy to do.
John Bray

On my 1600 I used the K & N model E-3212 air filters & also followed Barney’s instructions. They fit really well & have had no problems. They carry a million mile warranty so I should be OK for a few years!

R A Evans

Like Richard, I fitted the E-3212 type and they made a world of difference to the way my engine ran. Mine was originally fitted with some heavy-duty felt things that really suffocated the engine. A little piece of filter has to be cut away to accommodate the breather pipe connection into the standard Volks filter box. If your rocker box has no breather pipe fitting, you should provide one. It is vital to correct engine breathing.
Lindsay Sampford

Thank you very much everybody for replying so quickly. Sorry to appear thick but who is Barney? The serial no.E3212 does not appear in any supplier's list of K&N filters - I have looked in Moss, B&G, Europa and K&N's own site. Any further info. will be much aooreciated. Regards from John
J Houlgate

Who is Barney? You are in for a treat. For a start go to

Graham M V

I fitted them on to my MKII. Followed Barney's directions and although the cutting around the pipe for the oil breather was not easy, I'm very satisfied with the results.
- Ken
Ken Doris

I fitted K & Ns to my MK2 to replace the aftermarket thin foam type as per your installation. I ordered mine from B & G and adapted the breather pipe from the old ones to fit the K&Ns This just meant drilling a suitable hole in the K&N back plate and fitting the pipe- a small cut out of the filter to clear the pipe was all that was required
P D Camp

The E-3212 is just the filter element. Available from several suppliers on the interwebnet. If you're after the full K&N chrome setup, then check Moss for ones that fit - can't remember the numbers), and then shop around.


amongst others.


Grant :-)

G Hudson

I used the pleated paper FRAM filters (also on Barney's site) and they work great - lot less $$$ than the K&N's as well, and commonly available.

There are lots of paper filters that will work, and Barney lists a bunch of numbers from different manufacturers you can try to find at your local store.

If nothing else, you can fit the paper ones while shopping for the best deal on a set of K&N's.

AJ Mail

I fitted papar filters to the original back / front plates and they look great. Even have a nice mesh around the outside. Fitted straight in perfectly with a small snip for the breather. I got a pair of John Deere AM31400 which are easy to get ( google it) for about £15 the pair.
A J Dee

My car has the deep foam sock style filters fitted to inlet trumpets but does not have a breather pipe fitted to the (alloy) rocker cover.
It seems to run ok in spite of this ( it is a bored out MGB engine )

So do I really need a rocker cover breather pipe? Doesnt the crankcase breather provide sufficient crankcase ventilation on its own?

Colyn Firth

Colyn, the rocker cover breather is where fresh air enters. Then it goes out the draught tube. If there is no point of entry, it can't work. The filters keep crud out of the entry air.
Art Pearse

Without an inlet breather point the draft tube will only provide crankcase pressure relief, but no ventilation. With no ventilation the crankcase will eventually build up crud and acids and water condensation (combustion byproducts) to gum up and dilute the engine oil. Your engine oil can get by without crankcase ventilation if you change the oil every 1000 miles or so, but the interior of the engine will still get caked up. It really wants an intake vent from air filter to valve cover.
Barney Gaylord

Or you could use a separate filter fitted to a rocker breather pipe (which you would need to provide on your alloy cover), then you would not need a rubber pipe to one of your trumpets. K&N do engine breather filters that will do the job.
Lindsay Sampford

The alloy covers use a different cap. The cap contains the inlet breather.
dominic clancy

I think Dominic must have a point there, after every run I have to wipe engine oil from the top of my alloy rocker cover. So there must be an opening in the cap to allow this.

Perhaps fitting a breather and filter as Lindsay suggests would help prevent this oil spray.

Colyn Firth

Colyn, this looks like it could be the thingy
Lindsay Sampford

If a person installed the K&N air filters... #1 would that create a situation of more air flow thru the carbs and thus creating a "cooler" carb.? I currently run the origional filters. #2 Would that alter the "mixture" (too lean) of the carbs, due to greater air flow?
Gordon Harrison

I fitted K and N filters to the VOKES cans on my 1622 coupe. Most tuning and adjustments are done with the air filters off to allow easier access to the jet nut, and to listen to the carbs for balancing.
Putting the better breathing K&N's on did not affect the idle or running after they were put back on. They come oiled for life, and you will not have to touch them for many many years. Cost about $30 each from memory. You can fit them without the steel mesh.
Now if I could just get float bowl grommets that last, I'd be a lot happier. Will try the VITON ones from SF, but less than 2 months and around 2000 miles on these new ones from SU ticked me off!
P. Tilbury

Thanks Lindsay, I will give that a go, I just need to fit a ventilation outlet to my alloy rocker cover now.


Colyn Firth

Colyn, did you see what Dominic said above? It could be that your cap has a built-in air inlet/filter.
Lindsay Sampford

This thread was discussed between 09/06/2011 and 22/06/2011

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